Steele Bayou's gates are closed - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Steele Bayou's gates are closed

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ISSAQUENA COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

The U. S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing for high water coming down the Mississippi River. The corps has closed the Steele Bayou flood gate, north of Vicksburg in Issaquena County, which prevents the Mississippi River from backing up into the Delta.

The Steele Bayou control structure, about half way between Highway 61 and Eagle Lake, off Highway 465, has been invaluable in past floods keeping the Mississippi River out of the Delta.  

It consists of four 30 foot wide gates, put in place in the late sixties. It was closed Sunday.

Peter Nimrod, Chief Engineer, of the Mississippi Levee Board out of Greenville, explained to us the importance of Steele Bayou.

"If this baby would have blown out we would have flooded a million acres," said Nimrod. "Rolling Fork and Anguilla would have gone under water if this baby would have blown out. It was very critical and stressed to the max in 2011."

We also talked with Drew Smith, an engineer with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers in Vicksburg.

"Since the structure is closed, anything that falls while the structure is closed will accumulate," said Smith. "And right now, average rain fall for the month of May is about four inches. We think Steele Bayou will go to about 90."

The control structure will be reopened at the end of May to allow the water that has accumulated from rainfall, to run back into a falling Mississippi River. 

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